Just like his father 20 years ago, Bronny James will star in the McDonald’s All-American Game on Tuesday, March 28th.
LeBron’s son has had a strong senior season in Sierra Canyon, where his continued development has elevated his status as a prospect. Bronny is still a four-star recruit on most scouting websites, but he’s jumped from 45th to 33rd in his class over the course of his most recent high school season, according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings.
James’ prospective stock hit a new high when ESPN NBA draft analyst Jonathan Givony placed him in the top 10 of his NBA mock draft from early 2024, sparking a debate about how good LeBron’s oldest heir really is .
When Bronny was voted onto the McDonald’s All-American team, there were naysayers who didn’t believe he deserved the spot but were honored simply for his name. Ditto for his selection for a roster spot at the Nike Hoop Summit in April.
I’ve been following Bronny for a few years now. I assessed his strengths and weaknesses after his junior season and even got a chance to attend his last high school game in Sierra Canyon.
The reality is: Bronny is not LeBron’s second coming, but he is still a very talented prospect with the physical tools, skills and basketball intelligence to succeed at all levels.
How good will Bronny James be? Sporting News goes into more detail about his strengths and weaknesses below.
Bronny James’ scouting report
Strengths of Bronny James
James has solid position size as a 6-3 combo guard. According to 247 Sports, his frame has already started to pack up to 190 pounds in the past year. At 18 and with a determined work ethic, it’s safe to say he’s only going to get bigger and stronger over the next year as he prepares for the next level.
James is not the type of player who will be your first port of call for top scorers. His strengths as a prospect are those of a reliable two-way ground general – an elite defender, intelligent playmaker, solid 3-point shooter, and vocal leader with an incredible feel for the game.
On defense, James stands out and already looks like one of the best full-backs in his potential 2024 draft class. Tenacious on the ball with quick hands and feet, he uses his physicality and instincts to chase ball carriers and take them to theirs to beat places. He does a great job off the ball, lurking like a security guard and using his high anticipation to leap across passing lanes for steals and deflections, or sailing in from the assist side for blocks.
James is an above-average rebounder for his position, shattering defensive glass to come out in transition where he’s best. It accelerates smoothly like a Tesla and takes no time to go from zero to top speed. Even when he’s pushing the pace, his view of the court seemingly slows the game down as he decides whether to explode and attack the rim or attack an open teammate running down the lane.
On halfcourt, James can play either one or both, but point guard will likely be his primary position in both college and the NBA.
He’s a skilled pick and roll ball handler who sees the ground and gets the read right. He can deliver a live dribble with either hand or deliver lobs to rollers and cutters. He also knows when to take what the defense is giving him to hit his trusty mid-range pull-up to rebound.
Off the ball this season, James showed the potential to be a knockdown shooter. It has a crisp, compact shooting mechanic that looks promising for further development.
Bronny James weaknesses
James’ greatest weakness is the inconsistency of his game. Some nights he looks like the top prospect he’s projected to be. With others, he takes a back seat and looks like every other guy on the floor.
James has blitzes showing his breakout and athleticism to get to the rim downhill, but he doesn’t attack as often as he could. He doesn’t have the typical jitters in his game that you see from elite guard perspectives and fails to create a separation from his defender.
He’s a reliable ball carrier but it will be important for James to get more creative as a dribbler and establish some go-to moves as a shot designer. His consistency as a 3-point shooter catching and dribbling will be his greatest swing ability as a potential player.
Bronny James NBA Player Comparison
Plays like: Jalen Suggs
James’ physical tools and abilities are similar to those of the Gonzaga product. Suggs is listed at 6-4, 205 pounds — a profile I could see James fitting by the time he reaches the NBA.
Both guards are playmakers with outstanding speed and athleticism. They are both physical defenders and carry each other with competitive demeanor. Suggs had questions about his jump shot consistency and shot creation skills, as did James (although I have more faith in Bronny’s 3-point shot development given his mechanics).
Where does Bronny James go to college?
James is the only non-college player in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
According to ESPN’s recruiting database, he has received offers from Ohio State, USC, Oregon, Kentucky, Memphis and Michigan. Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA are the other schools listed that have expressed interest.
Luca Evans of the Los Angeles Times reported in January that James was expected to make a postseason decision and that Ohio State, USC and Oregon are his top three schools.
James also traveled to the state of Ohio on an official visit in September.
According to the official National Letter of Intent website, April 12, 2023 is the first signing date for Division I college basketball. The latest date James could sign is May 17, 2023.